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My wormery is full - what now?!?!?

(15 Posts)
julen Tue 30-Sep-08 15:05:08

Yes, so what now...? The bin is full of black sludgy yucky stuff; anyone any idea of what I should do next? WHere are the worms, can I save them to start of a new bin? Whenever I poke in it to try and turn the stuff over a bit I try and spot them, but they seem to be very elusive.. Does that mean I've killed them? Aren't they supposed to live in the top say 3 - 4 inches..?

Any advice gratefully received..!

sneekpeeks Tue 30-Sep-08 15:26:29

Dont you use the black sludgy yucky stuff as compost and put it on the garden ?????

As for the worms..........dunno !
Will the ones left not multiply and the process starts again ???

Sorry, not very helpful !

bellavita Tue 30-Sep-08 15:48:12

No, you haven't killed them, they don't like light, so burrow into the compost.

It needs drying and you need to put more cardboard and paper in - you need to get the worms out. If you hang on, DH (whose baby our wormery is) has got a book somewhere - will go get it.

bellavita Tue 30-Sep-08 15:55:53

You need to "dump and hand sort" which basically means you need to stack it up into little piles, remove the outer layers gradually until just the worms are left

DH's book is called Worms Eat My Garbage.

julen Tue 30-Sep-08 19:26:03

That's great, thank you for that (and sorry for late reply, kids got back from school earlier than I thought...). Dump and sort.. mmmm.. doesn't sound very appealing.. Maybe I'll just dump the whole lot in a corner of our allotment and jus tlet it dry out there and get new worms, even if that smacks of cheating. And more paper, yes that makes sense. WOuld absorb the moisture, wouldn't it. Have benn putting bits in but obviously not enough.
Right. Off to the bin then. Thanks again!!

MadBadandDangeroustoKnow Tue 30-Sep-08 19:36:08

Egg boxes are also very good for drying out the mixture.

Digging out a bin-style wormery is hard work. Am thinking of getting one of the stack of sieves type, as that looks easier for a feeble girlie like me.

julen Tue 30-Sep-08 20:18:26

Ah yes, good idea, egg boxes. Yes, am slightly regretting my choice of bin now. Mind you, I've used it for almost 2 years without having to do anything about it (and there's 5 of us), so can't complain really.

bellavita Wed 01-Oct-08 00:16:50

Have you been draining it off?

We have the stack of sieves type.

MadBadandDangeroustoKnow Wed 01-Oct-08 09:28:25

Tell me more about the stack of sieves.

Does it work well? I'm a bit worried about its capacity - does the top sieve ever get completely full? How quickly does stuff start to decompose and drop down to the lower sieve? Even with a household of 3 we manage to fill the wheelie-bin type composter and I'm worried that the stack ones look far smaller (although that doesn't matter if they're easier to empty, I guess).

ZacharyQuack Wed 01-Oct-08 09:57:30

We've got the [[ Can o Worms]] type. It's taken us about 8 months to fill all three levels. The stuff doesn't drop through to the lower levels, instead you start with just one layer, and when it's filled with food/muck, stack the next layer on top and start filling it with food. The worms wriggle up through the holes in the bottom of the sieve to get to the new food, and the lower level carries on decomposing. When the third (top) level has been filled, take out the bottom level and empty it in the garden and put the empty layer on the top of the stack. The worms should be in the upper stacks, where the more recently added food is. Easy!

MadBadandDangeroustoKnow Wed 01-Oct-08 10:01:25

Oh. Had misunderstood how they work. Many thanks.

julen Wed 01-Oct-08 11:33:53

Yes, bellavita, mine has a little tap at the bottom which is permanently open, plus I stir it to get the fluids to seep through. It ususally works fine that way, but I think it has had a bit too much watery stuff over the summer. The stacking sieves do sound a lot easier.. The bin cost a bit too much though to just give it away and start again with the sieves. (Out of interest though, how long does it take approx for one layer to decompose suffuciently to be usable as compost?)

bellavita Wed 01-Oct-08 12:06:21

DH says "well our bottom layer is ready now and has been for a while, but we have only had ours for a year, I expect now it is established we will get one every six months or so"

julen Wed 01-Oct-08 13:41:45

Right that's pretty quick then, isn't it. Hmm. OK, well, I'll see how it goes with my one first. Might cave in later.
(Never would have thought I would have a whole conversation about composting 10 years ago, would you.. Or than again am not so sure..)

bellavita Wed 01-Oct-08 14:14:40


tis DH's baby though, I take a wide birth when I walk past it!

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